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Utopia - Live in Boston 1982 CD (album) cover

LIVE IN BOSTON 1982

Utopia

 

Eclectic Prog

2.14 | 2 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
2 stars My low rating for this DVD is admittedly pretty subjective. The All Music Guide's highly positive four-star review talks of Utopia "certainly firing on all cylinders during this period", and of a "strong performance on Live in Boston 1982". But I also feel that, for a prog-minded viewer in general, this particular set of songs is quite disappointing for the most part, in addition to the fact that both sonic and visual quality are average at best.

At first I better deal with my own relationship with Utopia and Todd Rundgren. Well, it's frankly rather thin. The Utopia debut (1974) is gorgeous, and there are a few of Todd's solo albums from the 70's I have more or less enjoyed, especially Initiation (1975). But the straight pop / rock & roll oriented era of Utopia in the late 70's and early 80's is another case.

The all-singing quartet of Rundgren (guitar), Roger Powell (keyboards), Kasim Sulton (bass) and Willie Wilcox (drums) are doing well what they do here, I'm not denying that. It's just that I really had no emotional connection whatsoever to the majority of the music which I found totally uninteresting. Actually I kept on pressing the ">" button, wondering how similar the songs sounded with each other. Uptempo, outgoing, "let's have a party and play some rock&roll" attitude. This deeply disappointed and uninspired feeling of mine continued till the 18th track, the slower and more emotional 'Only Human', originally from the album Swing to the Right (1982). The other highlight was the powerful performance of 'Caravan' (from Adventures in Utopia, 1980) which contained the fusiony musical inspiration lacking from most of the songs in the 90-minute set.

The DVD also features retrospective interviews with each member separately, probably around 2004 when the DVD was released. Nicely the questions / themes are listed, so one can directly jump to the certain section of the interview. I personally wasn't interested enough to view the lengthy interviews entirely, but undoubtedly they offer a lot of information to interest a fan of Utopia.

Feel free to add at least the third star. But for me this certainly wasn't a DVD I'd ever wish to return to, or to waste all 90 minutes of my time in the first place (I borrowed it from my friend).

Matti | 2/5 |

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